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HB 437 Amended

HB 437 Amended

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Published by: Chris Buck on Nov 09, 2011
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Rep. Bates, Rock. 4 Rep. Sorg, Graf.

3 September 13, 2011 2011·2588h 09/10

Amendment to HB 437·FN

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Amend the title of the bill by replacing it with the following:


relative to civil unions and the definition of marriage.

Amend the bill by replacing all after the enacting clause with the following:

1 New Chapter; Civil Unions. Amend RSA by inserting after chapter 457·A the following new chapter: CHAPTER 457·B CIVIL UNIONS 457-B:l Purpose. The purpose of this chapter is to delineate the rights, obligations, and

responsibilities of parties entering a civil union, to establish a process by which a civil union is established, and to provide a process for the dissolution of a civil union. The legislature finds and declares that: I. Many adults are parties to various kinds of domestic relationships other than marriage. Some of these relationships are intended to provide mutual support and responsibilities. Those

involved in such caretaking partnerships may desire recognition of their status by the state to gain access to benefits typically reserved for husbands and wives. II. Inclusive civil unions are intended to address the needs of these adults for practical Inclusive civil

benefits in matters such as hospital visitation, property, and support obligations.

union agreements provide the benefits, rights, and responsibilities that most clearly address needs concerning adult caretaking and affection. III. We recognize that the default contract appropriate for these nonstandard relationships may be different from that which has arisen to address the unique realities of opposite sex unions in marriage; by creating a distinct and separate status, parties to civil unions can more easily petition the legislature to address their specific needs as they arise. IV. By creating civil unions, the legislature is expressly extending rights and benefits to

unmarried adults while reserving marriage to opposite sex couples. No court or administrative body shall construe or consider this legislative action as evidence of a public policy which supports samesex marriage or would otherwise entitle same·sex couples to that status. 457-B:2 Definitions. As used in this act, unless the context otherwise requires, "civil union"

Amendment to HB 437-FN - Page 2-

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means a contractual agreement that provides reciprocal benefits and obligations to the parties to the agreement. 457 -B:3 agreement: I. Are unmarried; II. At least 18 years of age; III. Are competent to enter a contract; and IV. Enter into the agreement without force, fraud, or duress. 457-B:4 Rights, Obligations, and Responsibilities. The parties who enter into a civil union Validity. A civil union agreement shall be legally recognized if the parties to the

agreement pursuant to this chapter shall be entitled to all the rights and subject to all the obligations and responsibilities provided for in state law that apply to parties who are joined pursuant to RSA 457, except as specifically waived by the parties to the agreement or as specifically excluded by the legislature. 457-B:5 Forms, Documents, and Applications; How Performed. The secretary of state shall

develop forms, documents, and applications for registering a civil union, which shall conform to this chapter. Civil unions shall be entered into pursuant to the analogous provisions of RSA 5-C:41-6l.

Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to require a minister or clergyman or clergywoman to solemnize a civil union. 457-B:6 Religious Liberty. No individual, corporation, entity, association, educational

institution, or society shall be penalized or denied benefits under the laws of this state or any subdivision of this state, in connection with, but not limited to, the application of laws addressing discrimination in employment, housing, or public accommodations, laws pertaining to licensing, government grants, contracts, or tax-exempt status, or for otherwise refusing to provide services, employment, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods, or privileges related


solemnization of any civil union, for refusing to solemnize any civil union, or for refusing to treat as valid any civil union, where the application of such laws or refusal conflicts with and/or would cause that individual, corporation, entity, association, educational institution, or society to violate their sincerely held religious or moral beliefs. 457-B:7 Dissolution. Parties who have entered into a civil union who wish to dissolve the civil union shall do so pursuant to RSA 458. 457-B:8 Other Jurisdictions. A civil union, domestic partnership, or a marriage among persons

of the same sex legally contracted outside of New Hampshire shall be recognized as a civil union agreement in this state, provided that the relationship does not violate the prohibitions of this chapter. 2 Marriage; Marriages Prohibited; Recognition of Out-of-State Marriages. RSA 457:1 through

RSA 457:3 are repealed and reenacted to read as follows: 457:1 Purpose. The legislature finds and declares that:

Amendment to HB 437 -FN - Page 3-

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Marriage is not a creature of statute but rather a social institution which predates

organized government. As the United States Supreme Court has noted, marriage has roots that are "older than the Bill of Rights older than our political parties, older than our school system."

Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.s. 479, 486 (1965). II. As many scholars and experts have noted, marriage, understood as the legal union of a
man and a woman, serves and supports important social goods in which the government of New Hampshire has a compelling interest.


Children can only be conceived naturally through copulation by heterosexual couples.

Because of this biological reality, New Hampshire has a unique, distinct, and compelling interest in promoting stable and committed marital unions between opposite-sex couples so as to increase the likelihood that children will be born to and raised by both of their natural parents. domestic relationship presents the same level of state interest. No other

IV. A child has a natural human right to the love, care, and support of his or her own mother
and father, whenever possible. and encourages its achievement. Marriage is the primary social institution that promotes that ideal

457:2 Marriages Prohibited; Men; Women.
No man shall marry his mother, father's sister, mother's sister, daughter, sister, son's

daughter, daughter's daughter, brother's daughter, sister's daughter, father's brother's daughter, mother's brother's daughter, father's sister's daughter, mother's sister's daughter, or any other man.

II. No woman shall marry her father, father's brother, mother's brother, son, brother, son's
son, daughter's son, brother's son, sister's son, father's brother's son, mother's brother's son, father's sister's son, mother's sister's son, or any other woman.

III. Marriage in New Hampshire is the legally recognized union of one man and one woman.
No person shall be allowed to be married to more than one person at any given time.

457:3 Recognition of Out-of-State Marriages.

Every marriage legally contracted outside the

state of New Hampshire, which would not be prohibited under RSA 457:2 if contracted in New Hampshire, shall be recognized as valid in this state for all purposes if or once the contracting parties are or become permanent residents of this state subsequent to such marriage, and the issue of any such marriage shall be legitimate. Marriages legally contracted outside the state of

New Hampshire which would be prohibited under RSA 457:2 if contracted in New Hampshire shall not be legally recognized in this state. Any marriage of New Hampshire residents recognized as

valid in the state prior to the effective date of this section shall continue to be recognized as valid on or after the effective date of this section.

3 Marriageable. Amend RSA 457:4 to read as follows: 457:4 Marriageable. No male below the age of 14 years and no female below the age of 13 years
shall be capable of contracting a valid marriage
[that is eRteFed iRtO by ORe male aRd ORe female], and all marriages contracted by such persons shall be null and void.
[No male belmv the age of 18

Amendment to HB 437-FN - Pag e 41 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

and no female below the age of 18 shall be

capable of contFacting a valid maniage between persons
RSA 457:31 is repealed and reenacted to read as

of the same gender, and all marriages contracted by sach persons shall be nall and void.]
4 Marriage; Solemnization of Marriage.

follows: 457:31 Who May Solemnize. Marriage may be solemnized by a justice of the peace as

commissioned in the state; by any minister of the gospel in the state who has been ordained according to the usage of his or her denomination, resides in the state, and is in regular standing with the denomination; by any member of the clergy who is not ordained but is engaged in the service of the religious body to which he or she belongs, resides in the state, after being licensed therefor by the secretary of state; within his or her parish, by any minister residing out of the state, but having a pastoral charge wholly or partly in this state; by judges of the United States appointed pursuant to Article III of the United States Constitution; by bankruptcy judges appointed pursuant
to Article I of the United States Constitution; or by United States magistrate judges appointed

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pursuant to federal law. 5 Severability. The provisions of this act are severable. If any provision of this act is invalid, or if any application thereof to any person or circumstance is invalid, the invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application. 6 Repeal. The following are repealed:

1. RSA 100-A:2-b, relative to marriage.

II. RSA 457:31·b, relative to solemnization of marriage; applicability.
III. RSA 457:45, relative to civil union recognition.
IV. RSA 457:46, relative to obtaining legal status of marriage.
7 Effective Date. This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.

Amendment to HB 437-FN - Page 5-


This bill establishes civil unions and defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

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